A highly anticipated confrontation between the Oak Harbor and Eastwood wrestling teams will take place today and tomorrow at Ontario in the Division II district tournament.
Both are ranked in the top four in the state and have yet to meet this season.
Each team had 13 wrestlers - there are 14 weight classes - qualify by finishing in the top four at a sectional meet last weekend. Each had five sectional champions.
Eastwood was ranked second in the final state poll and the Rockets were fourth.
"Oak Harbor is tough. They're the real deal," Eastwood coach Ralph Cubberly said. "It will be a battle."
Eastwood's Eric Cubberly, Ralph's junior son, could square off against OH's Tommy Baker in the 152-pound final. The Rockets' Cody Magrum, a defending state champ, is expected to meet the Eagles' Jeremy Foster in the 171-pound championship.
"It would be real big to finish in front of Eastwood," Magrum said. "If we do well at district we could be in good position to finish second in the state. They're our rivals now. We're not real good friends."
The 171 final between the juniors is expected to be a preview of the state final. Magrum is picked to defend his title and Foster is predicted to finish second by the highly regarded Brakeman Report. The wrestling forecast publication, which is written by Brian Brakeman, also picks the Rockets to finish second and Eastwood to place third.
Oak Harbor's other sectional champs are Drew Stone (103), Kirk Tank (145) and Wade Ishmael (285).
"Eastwood is a great team. They are a rival of ours now," Tank said.
"People talk about them and I think people overlook us. Come district time, we'll see just how good we are."
The Eagles' other sectional champs are Justin Flores (119), Jan Ulinski (125) and Kyle Taylor (140).
"Ralph has had a great group of kids go through there recently, including his two boys," Oak Harbor coach George Bergman said. "The district tournament should be a good test for us."
Eastwood has finished second in the state the past two seasons behind St. Paris Graham, which has won six consecutive titles and is favored again.
Division I sectional champs Waite and Springfield will compete in the district at Mentor.
The Division III district will be held at Owens Community College with sectional winners Genoa and Liberty Center in the field.
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